Possible spoilers ahead!
After the events of Batman v Superman, a top-secret government agency led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), pressures officials to form a team of villains to carry-out unsanctioned operations that are too dangerous for the U.S. military. In order to persuade this “Suicide Squad” to follow her orders, Waller tempts incarcerated super criminals with shortened prison sentences, but to be sure no one steps out of line, Waller adds an insurance policy: she injects each team member with an explosive device.
Overseeing the team is field commander Rick Flag, who has his own reasons for joining the team on this mission. The movie version of the Suicide Squad is made up of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, Diablo, Katana, and Slipknot. Their first mission is to investigate a supernatural entity unleashed in Midway City. But if they can’t work together, their fist mission might be their last.
First things first: “Suicide Squad” is not as horrible as the critics made it out to be. There’s a lot of good in this movie, like excellent performances by Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis. However, that is not to say “Suicide Squad” doesn’t have any problems.
I had some issues with “Suicide Squad,” like the way the cast of characters are introduced. Look, I love the music choices director David Ayer made, but I don’t think every character needed a different song. For the first 20 or so minutes of the movie, nearly every scene had a different song. It was simply too much.
Things weren’t helped out by the editing which seemed choppy in many places. There were times (especially in the first act) that I felt like scenes were cut mid-way. whenever you thought the plot was about to get going, things would slow down time and time again.
The story itself is pretty straightforward: a supernatural force is unleashed and the U.S. government attempts to contain the problem by sending in the Squad. But David Ayer spent so much time introducing the team, and building more of the DCEU foundation, that he forgot about giving us a decent villain, and a satisfying final act. Instead we got the Enchantress.
That’s the bad news, the good news is that “Suicide Squad” has huge potential going forward. In this first outing, two members stood out, and it’s because they were provided time to develop, I’m talking of course about Harley Quinn and Deadshot.
Margot Robbie nailed Harley Quinn, she’s crazy, funny, sexy, and dangerous. I loved the little moments with Harley, like when she squeals with delight when she sees her personal stuff. Or the scene with her sitting in the rain, a simple scene that showed her sadness, and proved she’s more than just a crazy girl.
Similarly, Deadshot’s journey from a selfish gun-for-hire to de facto leader of the Squad keeps the movie grounded. While Lawton’s goal remains the same (caring for his daughter), the crisis in Midway City affords the assassin opportunities to evolve and in a way, grow up. I give will Smith a ton of credit for making Deadshot believable, and someone the audience could cheer for.
Team-up movies rarely do justice every member equally and several Suicide Squad players are sidelined in favor of spotlighting Harley and Deadshot. Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress has a striking visual design but, for those hoping to see the unique dynamic between human host June Moone and the evil witch, you’re out of luck. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag is serviceable, and that’s about it. Viola Davis is fantastic as Amanda Waller, and we don’t learn too much about her, which exactly how it should be.
Diablo (Jay Hernandez) also manages to earn his spot on the roster but it takes so long to know anything about him, that his acts in the final act doesn’t land like it should. Meanwhile Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang was okay, which is probably the best thing I’ll ever say about the guy.
Katana (Karen Fukuhara) shines with slick sword-wielding choreography but, even though the character wields a blade containing the trapped soul of her dead husband, she’s barely used this round. Killer Croc gets a few good lines, a pair of slow-motion action scenes, but he spent most of the film reacting to other members of the team, rather than doing his croc thing.
Then there’s Jared Leto’s Joker, who by now people know is not in the entire movie. Well let me tell ya, the actor excels in making his mark on the iconic role. Leto gives a very unique version of the Clown Prince of Crime, and it works! There’s great chemistry between this Joker and Harley Quinn, and he’s twisted in so many ways, it was great to see. As for Joker being barely in the movie, I’m okay with it. The way I see it, I’d rather see this Joker take out his frustrations in a Batffleck solo movie.
In the end, “Suicide Squad” isn’t perfect, but it is not as bad as the film critics said either. This movie has some wonderful performances and it laid the foundation for more adventures. I would say despite a few flaws, “Suicide Squad” is worth checking out.
“Suicide Squad” final score: 7.5